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April 2008
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Over 130 years of being wrong

You may have thought the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was merely a sadly delusional chapter in our nation’s history. And yet, every now and then I see a letter to the editor in the local paper signed by someone who calls herself head of the local WCTU chapter.
What I didn’t realize (until I read Allen St. Pierre’s post today) was that they also take a position on marijuana.
At their marijuana ‘facts’ page you can learn a number of interesting things, including:

long-term marijuana users experience withdrawal symptoms such as stomach pain, irritability, and aggression. […] Sudden heart attacks have been linked to pot smoking […] Loss of fertility in both males and females may occur. Marijuana can disrupt testes and uterine function. In males testosterone levels and sperm counts can decrease and abnormal sperm form. Menstrual periods have ceased in females who use pot regularly. […] fathers who smoked pot might increase the chances of their babies dying from SIDS. […] Marijuana use is a major risk factor in the development of full-blown AIDS in HIV-positive persons. HIV marijuana smokers progress to full-blown AIDS twice as fast as non-smokers. […] Chronic use results in adults being four times more likely to be depressed later in life and to have suicidal thoughts. […] In a 1999 report of 664 drug-related deaths, 187 of them resulted from marijuana use alone. […] A scientific study of airplane pilots showed their inability to properly land a plane using a flight simulator even 24 hours after smoking one joint. […] As of January, 2001, the Mississippi Research Center for the National Institute on Drug Abuse had on record more than 15,000 studies on cannabis. None of them show the raw material marijuana to be safe or effective for medical use. […] Many of the state-based referendums on medical marijuana have been supported and funded by individuals and organizations who favor decriminalization and legalization and who would profit from producing and selling marijuana.

If I didn’t know the damage that this organization has done to the country historically, I would merely consider this nothing more than a group of deluded oddballs who are completely and hilariously wrong.

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